Making Democracy Work

Local Program 2017-2018

The Local Program Positions for the LWV Schenectady County.

LWV of Schenectady County Program Planning Meeting

This annual meeting was held on February 12, 2018 to review the current 2018 positions of the national League of Women Voters and the current 2017-2018 positions of the local League of Women Voters of Schenectady County. New members attended a preliminary orientation meeting that provided an overview of the League nationally and locally.

Vice-President Joan Elliott explained that our League could recommend changes, deletions, and/or updates to both the national and local programs. League positions are kept general to allow for greater flexibility in lobbying, etc. If a local League chooses to recommend a major change or addition to one of the national positions, that League must provide the resources to conduct a study of the issue.

There was good discussion covering various issues. The following topics were brought forward:

  • The League should take a larger role in promoting getting out the vote; we do a good job registering new voters, but need to also concentrate on making sure that people actually vote in elections. This could be done on all levels: local, state and national.
  • We need to provide more information for those who are hoping to apply for US citizenship. Many potential applicants do not have the information they need, especially concerning requirements, fees, waivers, and exceptions. Ann will put together an information sheet with basic information that can be provided to SICM, libraries, etc.
  • LWVUS (National) Position Update - The current health position does not appear to allow for advocacy related to the Federal drug policies. In light of the current opioid epidemic and the conflict between Federal and State policies on the sale and use of marijuana, we recommend updating the League health positions to include: Promotes scientific evidence-based policies/laws reflecting best practices for dealing with prevention, treatment, and oversight/enforcement of the sale, distribution, and use of controlled substances, including the decriminalization of their use.
  • People who serve in government positions should be competent and reflect the diversity of the population they serve.
  • LWVSC (Local) Position Update - delete "Educate our membership and others about long term care and develop recommendations for local options."
  • Municipalities should investigate ways that they can consolidate services; for example, snow removal.
  • Our local League might want to seek amenable organizations to see if collaboration on issues might make sense; for example, voter registration.

Justice and the Law

Support improvements to the local criminal justice system by:
  • monitoring and strengthening the Probation and Parole procedures, with an emphasis on rehabilitation and supportive services with programs such as the Ex-Offender Re-Entry Program in Schenectady County.
  • facilitating the implementation of alternative courts (problem solving courts) in Schenectady County and promoting collaborations to support them.
  • monitoring the juvenile justice system including Family Court and promoting community-based rehabilitation.
  • supporting restorative justice programs such as the Community Accountability Board.
  • improve accessibility to police complaint procedure

Local Government

  • Monitor activities of county governmental units, including town boards, the Schenectady City Council and the Schenectady County Legislature, monitor activities of other quasi-governmental units, public authorities and agencies such as Metroplex, IDAs and Planning Boards, monitor activities of elected public Boards of Education.
  • Support standards of high professional qualifications and political nonpartisanship in manager form of government.
  • Evaluate opportunities for inter-municipal cooperation and examine options for the consolidation of governmental services in Schenectady County.

Children at Risk

  • Collaborate with other organizations to identify the needs of children in Schenectady County, facilitate programs on their behalf and educate the community about their needs and challenges.
  • Study early childhood education and caregiving needs in Schenectady County from a policy and financing perspective.

Local Education

  • Monitor local initiatives related to schools and promote and advocate adequate and equitable funding for all school districts so the students can reach their potential.

Environmental Issues

Support the protection of environmental resources, land, water and air in Schenectady County:
  • Advocate for the protection of water resources in the County.
  • Promote understanding of global climate change and support efforts to mitigate its effects.
  • Support energy conservation and development of renewable energy alternatives.
  • Support solid waste management programs that increase reuse and recycling in the County and City.

Health Services

  • Educate and advocate for national/state/local health care reform that provides quality physical and mental health care for all citizens.
  • Educate our membership and others about long term care and develop recommendations for local options. [delete]
  • Encourage and support countywide comprehensive health care planning and access, equity, and safety in health care.